The End of the Fight for Smaller Class Sizes


photo NY1

Mayor Adams announcing this appointment of David Banks as the NYC Schools Chancellor.

The fight for smaller class sizes has finally come to an end with New York State  Senate passing a bill on June 2 that caps the amount of students in each public school classroom. The cap will depend on grade level, with high school classes being required to have no more than 25 students in each classroom.

The city will have until 2027 to implement these changes but the process may not be easy, mainly due to funding. The Adams Administration has projected that to shrink class sizes it will cost 500 million dollars annually, and that’s only for grades K-5.

According to New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks, the bill may cause the city to cut funds in other school programs. In a press release this week, Banks said, “But the proposed multibillion dollar unfunded mandate in this bill forces school leaders to prioritize class size above critical school safety programs, dyslexia screenings, social workers, school nurses, summer programming, supports for special student populations, and even the expansion of community schools.”

Other ways of funding the program have been suggested, such as using the money from Foundation Aid, which gives billions of dollars to the city for schools.

But it may not be enough, Mayor Adams has argued, “unless there is guaranteed funding attached to those mandates we will see cuts elsewhere in the system that would harm our most vulnerable students in our highest need communities.”